Head coach Jason Kreis referred to New York City FC’s 3-1 victory over Montreal on June 13 at Yankee Stadium as the “most complete performance of the year.”
So it’s no surprise the Club is striving to duplicate those efforts when they play the Impact again this holiday weekend.
Kickoff is 8 p.m. EDT on July 4 from Stade Saputo (YES Network, WFAN, WADO).
“I think we need to remember why that happened,” Kreis said. “We need to remember not just that game, but the other games around it. We need to remember what gets us success in this league against the opponents we’re playing because we need to do that every single week. If we don’t, we won’t get results. It’s pretty simple to me.”
On that evening, David Villa, Mix Diskerud and Kwadwo Poku all found the back of the net as New York City FC continued their hot stretch. The Club went four matches unbeaten in the league with three consecutive victories.
That streak was halted this past Sunday by the Red Bulls. The visitors left Yankee Stadium with a 3-1 victory in front of a season-high 48,047 supporters. Despite the result, New York City FC players aren’t letting it affect the team’s confidence level.
“You have to have a little bit of amnesia,” defender Jeb Brovsky said. “You can’t forget the result totally, but you have to learn from the mistakes you made. The good thing is you have a chance the next week to prove yourself. We want to take advantage of this chance.”
“I look at this as an opportunity for guys to step forward and show what character they’re made of,” Kreis said. “As I told them already and as I told the press after the Red Bulls match – so I don’t think it’s any secret – that was the first game in my opinion where there was a little bit of quit in our players for spells. That’s never going to be acceptable, so we’ll see how they respond this weekend.”
New York City FC (4-8-5; 17 points) will be without Mix, who is competing with the United States National Team in the 2015 Gold Cup.
The midfielder, who has 14 appearances (13 starts) this season, scored in the 76th minute against the Impact last month.
“Question one is whether or not we’ll stick with the same shape (4-2-3-1) or go back to two forwards,” Kreis said. “If we go back to two forwards, you look to a (Patrick) Mullins or (Adam) Nemec to step back in and do a good job. Both of those guys did that the last time they played for us. I don’t have much hesitation about that.
“If not, there will be an opportunity for a guy like Poku to come in and contribute from a starting role. The last time he did that, he did pretty well (two goals vs. Cosmos). We’re definitely not fearful about the guys who have to step in and contribute this weekend in the attacking half of the field.”
Montreal (5-6-3; 18 points) come into Saturday’s match following a 2-2 draw at Philadelphia on June 27.
The Impact were relegated to 10 men in the 67th minute as captain Patrice Bernier was shown a second yellow card. Despite being down a man, Montreal took a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute, but the field was leveled in the 77th minute as the Union’s Eric Ayuk was shown his marching orders.
“It’s going to be a battle because we want to get back on the right foot and they want to get back at us for the defeat last month,” said Brovsky, who played three seasons with the Impact. “It’s tough to play a team again shortly after playing them, whether you win or lose. And Stade Saputo isn’t an easy place to go to and get points.
“We have to put in a 90-minute performance and guys have to be focused the whole time.”